A few weeks’ back when we were at the National Art Gallery, we went to see the Marc Chagall exhibit. It’s a series of about 30 or so paintings that were made for a book, Daphnis and Chloe, a Greek folktale about a goatherd and a shepherdess who fall in love but are kept apart by many circumstances.
It was in this exhibit that we were warned many, many times (in the first three minutes) about being too close to the art, and were threatened with expulsion. It was Little Miss Sunshine who had the hardest time remembering to KEEP BACK FROM THE ART – she was just excited and interested and kept stepping forward to point things out to ask questions – so eventually I just had her stand in front of me, and I wrapped my arm around her chest, and we shuffled like that through the entire exhibit so I could hold her back whenever the impulse hit to approach the art.
One thing about the Little Miss is that she is A TALKER. Every thought in her head comes out of her mouth – I like to say that something never really happens to her unless she can say it out loud. And in combination with her chattiness she is also a very curious child and likes to ask a LOT of questions. It’s a bottomless pit of questions in her world, and let me tell you, it is very hard getting her to settle down at bedtime as she will always find something else that she urgently needs to ask you before she can fall asleep. She’s VERBAL, is what I’m saying.
So we made our way around the exhibit fused together, which meant I was absolutely available to her for any and all questions. The paintings were arranged in order according to the story so at every one I would explain who the characters were, and what was happening now in the story (and, more often than not, why they were all naked). I kept my voice low but it was pretty much a constant stream of explaining, answering, and discussing – her asking, me doing my best to respond in a way she could understand.
We were about 3/4 of the way through when a lady about my age, who had been following along with us throughout, leaned over and said to me, “You are the Best. Mom. Ever.”
I gotta tell you, I can live on that for a VERY long time.